A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Commentary: Struggle fueled by Martin Luther King’s ideals continues — and applies more broadly

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward Race relations in many of our cities may be their poorest since the late 1960’s, but Monday we celebrated the courage of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who dedicated his life to restoring racial equality under the law. Dr. King, who navigated an even tougher political environment, invested much of his life to restore the basic dignity of black men and women...

House, Senate move abortion-related bills; measures could become law as soon as Saturday

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky Republicans passed two major anti-abortion bills out of legislative committees Wednesday and through the House and Senate Thursday in hopes of enacting them into law by Saturday. The bills passed in their respective chambers on Thursday, keeping them on track for weekend passage. House Speaker Jeff Hoover said it is likely the General Assembly will...

Commentary: Change is needed, divisions are deep and wide — let the healing start with you

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward Political commentators and celebrities are bidding good riddance to 2016 largely because of the ideological divide and politics that separates the nation.  It’s a singular way to gauge a year, as if politics is the measure of all things. Coming off a holiday season celebrating with family is a reminder that there are more important things in life. Jacques...

Commentary: Good journalism recognizes there are some things the public doesn’t have a right to know

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward In the time of the year when elections come to an end and average citizens suddenly grow tired of the bickering and vulgarization of discourse, a new idea comes along that undermines partisan provocateurs bent on belittling and maligning their opposition. The idea is that civilization flourishes when public discourse is accompanied by respect and charity — both...

Commentary: Candidate Trump is a creature of the times — and has been in the making for years

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward Halloween is here and scarier than any goblin at your doorstep is a bitter political season filled with high pitched rhetoric that has invaded too many homes and induced a ghoulish mood within the electorate. Political operatives stir the pot of vitriol with a concoction of two parts suspicion, one part contempt and a dash of hatred. But those outside the political...

Commentary: Religion and politics do mix — and preachers have free speech rights as well

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward Religion and politics are the two topics to avoid in polite company, and pastors should never talk about the latter. At least that’s what we’re told. So when the Associate Press (AP) got hold of a leaked video of Gov. Bevin encouraging a group of pastors to boldly speak to the social issues they sounded the alarm. The AP reported that the governor...

Commentary: U.S. Civil Rights Commission report deserves to get more attention — and it will

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward When a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound? How about when the U.S. Civil Rights Commission issues a groundbreaking report and nobody hears about it? Such appears to be the case regarding a recent report by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission called “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties.” The report hasn’t...

Commentary: Ten Commandments come down in Trigg County — whose values were imposed?

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward After a threatening letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), a Trigg County official removed the the Ten Commandments from the courthouse. All is right with Trigg County’s world now, at least according to FFRF. Or is it? FFRF was concerned enough about a painting of the Ten Commandments prominently displayed in the courthouse that they demanded...

Commentary: America can become great again by following the example of our Olympians

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward Say the phrase “make America great again” and it will either lead to heartfelt applause or looks of disdain followed by jeers. In either case, tens if not hundreds of thousands have attended rallies across the country to listen to a man who says he will make America great again. Nary a soul will admit that they don’t want America to be great....

Commentary: Daily dose of bad news leaves many of us asking how we arrived at such a place

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward The latest murder of three Baton Rouge police officers has rattled our already fragile sense of safety and reminds us—as if we needed reminding—that we live in an age of hatred, a hatred that fuels terror and ends in murder. And the nearly daily dish of bad news leaves many of us are asking how we arrived at such a place. There are many paths that lead here....

Commentary: Vilification of social conservatives following Orlando tragedy was unwarranted

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward Less than 24-hours after one of the worst mass shootings in our nation’s history, political opportunists fired up rhetoric that grated our already raw emotions. “If only there were better gun control laws.” “If only less anti-gay rhetoric.” “If only full acceptance of the LGBT community…”. First responders were still...

Commentary: Comprehensive solutions to give children better chance requires leaders to mix it up

By Richard Nelson Special to KyForward A recent report finds Kentucky number one in a category that it doesn’t want to be first: the highest percentage of children in the nation who have had a parent in jail. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but not even the best mint julep can take away the sting from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s latest finding that 13 percent of Kentucky children...